As we’ve mentioned, travel rewards credit cards are some of the best ways to help save for a vacation. From discount plane tickets to bonuses during your hotel stays, reward points can make all the difference. But what if you have those rewards split among a few cards, like many big families. Well, then, you need to pool those points together! Read on to discover the wide world of credit card pooling…
Credit Card Pooling 101
So, what is credit card pooling exactly? Well, when two people open credit cards that can accumulate points or simply have a reward program, it’s possible to combine those points by transferring them from one card to another. Of course, it largely depends on the rules and policy of the bank that issues the cards. However, lone travelers shouldn’t think that credit card pooling only works for large families with lots of cards. You can pool even if you only have two cards that are collecting rewards!
As mentioned, most providers have different rules. So, first, read through all your card’s terms and conditions. While reading them, keep some questions in mind:
- Can I even pool rewards, to begin with?
- Can I pool points with family members, or just with my own cards?
- Is there is a transfer fee for combining the points?
Planning to Pool
So, if you want to try credit card pooling but don’t have an eligible card, its time to start planning. First, look into cards that allow pooling. Also, make sure there are no pooling fees, or at least, that the cost is worth it. Finally, decide who you would like to pool points with, like a significant other. Often, if you sign up for the card first, you can “refer” your partner to it, earning you a referral bonus. Plus, you’ll both get any introductory offers or rewards!
Once you have your cards, start earning points. When you both feel ready to use the points, it’s time to combine them. And the more you save, the better you’ll do! It’s easy to want to merge to go on a short trip or spending spree, but you’ll often get better deals if you hold out and uses more points later.
Which Banks Allow Credit Card Pooling?
Wondering which banks and cards allow credit card pooling? Well, we’ve done some research for you!
Unfortunately, American Express does not allow users to pool their bonus points on the card itself. However, there’s a way around this rule so that you can still combine rewards. American Express allows their Membership Rewards points to be transferred to a partnered airline or hotel partner rewards program. So, family members can share one card or use multiple, and then simply transfer the points into a partner program, where they can pool points.
Chase Sapphire Reserve, Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, and the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card all allow for users to pool. Points can be transferred to airline and hotel partner accounts or between Chase users. Meanwhile, Ultimate Rewards points can be used on any member of the user’s household. For processing, you’ll just need their last name and credit card number.
The Citi ThankYou reward points are the most flexible out of all as the users can share them with anybody with a Citi account. Yet, there are a few catches. First of all, users can only transfer 100,000 points a year. Secondly, they are only available for 90 days after the transfer.
While it can seem straightforward to read through the rules of every credit card and bonus point programs, they don’t always make sense. Don’t forget to contact a financial advisor in case of any serious questions and before applying for a card.
Sources: ThePointsGuy, Finance101